This #GivingTuesday we wanted to give back and #BeKindful to one of the amazing nonprofits we are privileged to have as a customer.
We headed over to a local, Nashville-based non-profit Thistle Farms. And wow, do great things happen there.
In case you aren’t familiar with Thistle Farms, this is an organization that is all about the healing power that love brings.
Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens (who was named one of CNN’s 2016 Top 10 Heroes), Thistle Farms is not only a refuge for women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction, but it is a place where they are loved and empowered. Thistle Farms began as a home where these women could stay for free to get back on their feet.
However, Becca soon learned that even though these women were getting their lives together, it was extremely difficult for them to get employment because of their past. And so, Thistle Farms Social Enterprises was born.
Today, there are four initiatives that are giving these women a way to provide for their families and contribute to their community.
Thistle Farms Bath and Body is an 11,000 square foot facility where residents and graduates produce and sell all-natural bath and body products. (They really are amazing and make great Christmas gifts!)
Thistle Stop Cafe was built to serve the Nashville community and is run and staffed by graduates of the residential program.
Thistle Farms Global partners with small businesses around the world that are also run by women who survived addiction, trafficking, and violence.
Thistle Farms Studios trains residents and graduates in paper-making, silk-screening, metalwork and sewing. (More great gift ideas as these things include jewelry, journals, and greeting cards!)
A Day at Thistle Farms
When we arrived at Thistle Farms we were greeted with the warm, friendly smiles of the ladies who work in operations – from marketing to fundraising to global partnership management. Our job for the morning was to help them get a year-end donor mailing out to a select group of donors. We signed cards, stuffed envelopes, folded letters – the works. About 40% of their total revenue comes in at year end!
And as we sat there placing return address labels on envelopes, we couldn’t help but think about all the good that was going to come from this mailing- that the money raised with these letters would help bring healing to even more women.
Next stop was lunch at the Thistle Stop Cafe. This place is run by graduates of the program and they are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Plus, they are great at what they do. Their customer service was delightful and the food was seriously amazing. If you are ever in Nashville you must stop by the Thistle Stop Cafe for lunch.
Finally, we spent the afternoon at Thistle Farms Bath and Body where we helped assemble boxes and get materials ready for order fulfillment. As we sat there poking holes out of the top of candle boxes, we heard the story of one of the women who was helped by Thistle Farms. We were brought to tears by her story and her journey to healing. It’s clear that lives are being transformed thanks to the work of Thistle Farms.
It was an honor to spend #GivingTuesday serving alongside our friends at Thistle Farms. Check out their online store and help show the world that #LoveHeals.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post about how Thistle Farms uses Kindful to raise more money to help more women heal.
Thistle Farms has been a Kindful customer since August 2015.
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